These days the most common report of theft is identity theft, which has sky rocketed since the internet has come into play. Thousand of people report identity theft everyday, don't let yourself become one of them because you have not looked after your personal information properly. Below we will have a look at what identity theft is and some safety tips you can use to protect your personal information so it won't happen to you.
Identity theft is when someone steals another persons personal information and assumes their identity for fraudulent reasons. The most common personal information item stolen is credit card numbers and other closely related financial information like bank account numbers, which happens all to often on the internet. If someone does steal your personal information the main consequences are high, unknown and unwanted bills and a bad credit rating. If you think you have become a victim or if it ever happens to you, you should report identity theft to the appropriate authorities immediately.
There is a number of ways you can protect your personal information, most times it is common sense. Below we will go through some of these ways, so you can put them into practice. Before long they will become a safe second nature.
Look out for phishing scams - phishing is when a person sends emails pretending to be a legitimate company in order to get your personal details, like passwords, bank account numbers and passwords and your social security or credit card numbers. Usually the email will ask you to confirm or verify your personal information and usually addresses you with 'dear valid member/customer' while legit companies use your name or username.
When buying an item online make sure you pay through a secure and trusted financial institution and that all dealings are done on a secure server.
Never give out personal information like your credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords or bank account details to anyone online even business through emails or messages.
When typing in your personal details make sure that no one can see what you are typing, even if you trust them.
Scan your computer regularly scan your computer for spyware - spyware is like a virus that is hidden on your computer and tracks all your movements, some even record details such as passwords and your bank details and sends them back to the creator. There are many spyware programs available on the market and some you can use free of charge.
Watch you children when they are on the computer, sometimes children like to help people out and give them any information they ask for.
Another way you can protect yourself from identity theft is by taking out identity theft insurance.
Identity theft insurance is cheap to take out and they reimburse you the cost of restoring your identity, any bill charges that took place while your identity was stolen and helps you restore your credit rating.
You don't have to take the chance of becoming a victim if you put some or all of the above tips into play. In the long run it will help you prevent identity theft and could save you a lot of heartache and money. And remember, if identity theft ever happens to make sure that you report it to the appropriate authorities immediately.